The FrogPad
 
A forum to get help or talk about Roastmaster…or anything else coffee.

Novice user  (Read 4726 times)

Dennis

  • (5 Posts)
  • *
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
Hey everyone - I've been using roastmaster for about a year now, roasting a pound or so a week. Love the app but I think it has many features and functions that I just don't know how to properly use. I'd like to suggest that a couple tutorial videos would be fantastic, maybe posted on YouTube or something. They don't even have to be "formal" tutorials, just may e someone going through a standard roast and showing how they utilize the program. I'm excited to get to know the program inside and out, I just don't really have anywhere to turn for that. Thanks for all the time you put into this Danny, it has been fun logging my roasts.

Danny Hall

  • (363 Posts)
  • *****
  • Karma: 4
    • View Profile
    • Rainfrog
Hey Dennis

You read my mind - those are long overdue. I think I've done a good job of documenting the raw mechanics in the help files, but they're of little use for helping people understand the concepts of how things work best in the app. I need to give folks a way to get up to speed without trial and error.

I'm partway through the first one - and really digging Final Cut Pro :). I plan to do just as you suggest - simple YouTube videos streamed through the website. The two main topics I'm trying to tackle first are getting started, and how to best use profiles (or programs) and curves. After that I'd probably want to spotlight how to share data with other users, and working with Behmor curves.

Thanks for the input!
Danny

Dennis

  • (5 Posts)
  • *
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
That's great, and sounds like a perfect place to start. Thanks again for the support, I really look forward to getting to know the concepts and controls more!

italyhound

  • (8 Posts)
  • *
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
I will second Dennis' thought.

I went through the crash course but I am still working on using the app by trial and error.

A simple, how to is needed.  eg - in 'crash course' - starting the first roast - it is not really helpful in telling the new user what to do.   Something simple would be great like step by step going from nothing to starting the roast to during the roast to after the roast.

I think the app is great - I am not piling it on - but I went to med school and I dont know the first thing about relational databases or managing the detailed help section.  I just want to know how to get started with the app  and then I can let experience teach me more ;D

A posted tutorial would do wonders!

Danny Hall

  • (363 Posts)
  • *****
  • Karma: 4
    • View Profile
    • Rainfrog
Agreed. Just finished the first video. It's not a tutorial (those are still in progress) - it's about wireless temp readings (still in development). I wanted to get that one out of the way, and give users a chance to give feedback once they see it so development doesn't stall for the next version. Then onward and upward with the other tutorials.

Thanks for the feedback - it's good to know what concepts folks have questions about when first starting. It's hard to know that from my perspective. Any questions in the mean time, just let me know.

I appreciate the input!

italyhound

  • (8 Posts)
  • *
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
Thanks, Danny.

Wireless temps?  Yes, please!  That would be revolutionary.  :)

ginny

  • (7 Posts)
  • *
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
wirrless temps, how?

ginny

Danny Hall

  • (363 Posts)
  • *****
  • Karma: 4
    • View Profile
    • Rainfrog
I've been working on adding data-logging support since right after the last update went live. I just got the preliminary approval from Apple today that this scenario is allowed, so I'm pretty excited. It gets hairy in iOS with 3rd party devices. As it stands now, it's limited to ethernet hardware, so I can bypass a lot of Apple's legal red tape. I'd say I'm about 70% done with the code for this update. I'll write a full write up on the blog soon.

The way it will work is that you will be able to install software probes in Roastmaster, and bind them to curves. I've beefed up profiles and programs a bit with curve templates that will create empty, pre-configured curves into roasts that use that profile or program. This will greatly speed up workflows for everyone that uses reading curves, but makes working with probes extremely easy.

So, for instance on my Quest, I choose my roaster, then my profile, then all 4 curves are there and ready to start: 2 control curves for heat and fan, and 2 empty reading curves, already reporting my roaster bean temp and drum temp in the readout below the gauge. When I start my roast, these two curves start sampling data every so many seconds (configurable) and track the roast curves themselves without any data entry.

So... in a nutshell, I now roast from my deck :) (or office or couch) only running back to the roaster as the temp nears 195 for first crack or 220 for second crack! It's a blast.

I still have some work to do, and initial support will be limited to Phidgets open-source hardware only. This has its pros and cons. The upside is the hardware performs beautifully, and is lightening fast - giving real-time readouts. It's also very economical for users wanting multiple probes - especially roasting shops. (It would be possible to build a probe array of 24 probes for around $1,000 USD, plus the prices of the probe leads).

I'll write a full write-up on the blog soon to explain everything to folks once I get a little closer. I've had to cool my heels on development for a little while until I got the preliminary approval that this was allowed by their rules. Now that I've finally got that, I'm very excited get these live!

Danny

hendersondb

  • (1 Posts)
  • *
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
    • Home Page
Excellent news on the videos and the wireless temp inputs. Can hardly wait.
David

Chipbutty

  • (5 Posts)
  • *
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
Can't wait for the videos. I've just spent the best part of a day trying to understand how to use this great looking app but I have to admit I find it quite confusing! :( I use a Gene Cafe. I'm sure it'll be fine once I understand all the terms; curves, profiles, programmes. Arrghh  ;D

Danny Hall

  • (363 Posts)
  • *****
  • Karma: 4
    • View Profile
    • Rainfrog
Hi Chipbutty

I'm so sorry not to have replied sooner - I've had my head deep in the code of the next update for the past two weeks. I was hoping to get it to Apple last week (crunch time), but found a bug that needed fixing with probes. This update will contain support for wireless probe readings via Phidgets hardware, and has been a long time in the making. Unfortunately, fixing the bug required a huge overhaul of the way I had structured them. There have been a lot of late nights lately. A week and a half later, though, it's fixed, which is a good thing, just a little setback. Now to start testing again :)

Roasting curves are designed to hold one of two types of data - control data (like amps, fan, etc.) or reading data that you measure with a thermometer or probe. You define them in a roast, and record values to them throughout the roast. If you happen upon a combination you like, or that cups well, you can copy and paste those into a profile or program. In future roasts, when you tag that profile or program in a roast, those curves will be viewable inside that roast. You can then define new reading curves inside the new roast and enter data to match against any "target" reading curves contained in the profile or program. You'll then have two reading curves and a good way to gauge the progress of the current roast against the target profile or program you're using, plus hints from Roastmaster for any "control" curves they contain, as to when to change the settings on the machine.

Control curves are typically weight-dependent. Professional roasters will probably opt to roast simply against reading curves, unless they don't vary the weight they typically roast. Reading curves are NOT weight-dependent - i.e. what temp readings occur with 400g shouldn't differ from what you want to occur with 50kg.

The update has a number of enhancements for curve-related workflow, not the least of which is automatic probe readings. Once that goes live, I will focus on some videos. I've put the update in priority over the videos because any videos produced now won't make a lot of sense once the update goes live. A number of things have been improved upon.

This is just a brief intro. I'd be happy to answer any specific questions you have. Please let me know exactly what you're trying to achieve, and I'll shed some light. Again I'm sorry for the delay, and I promise I'll be able to get back to you quickly.

Cheers
Danny

Chipbutty

  • (5 Posts)
  • *
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
I'd completely forgotten about my post here and only just read your reply! Only eighteen months or so later ;D I've hardly roasted the past year but I have 9kg of greens to roast and I think I'll certainly have some questions along the way. Thanks.